The Brains Worldwide Foundation NFP has called for Canada’s Ontario provincial legislature to pass proposed legislation that would introduce concussion protocols and awareness initiatives of concussions in youth sports and other activities.
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario recently debated Rowan’s Law, which is named after a 17-year-old Ottawa girl, Rowan Stringer, who died in 2013 several days after being knocked unconscious during a rugby game. It was later discovered that she had suffered three concussions within a week.
“Brains Worldwide urges the passage of Rowan’s Law because it would introduce measures that could save lives,” said Oz Schaefer, founder of the Brains Worldwide Foundation. “We believe the safety of children rests firmly on effective communication, ongoing monitoring and active partnership between parents, coaches and pediatricians, and Rowan’s Law is a significant step toward making this possible in Ottawa and throughout Canada.”
All 50 of the United States have laws dictating the management of youth concussions. If Rowan’s Law passes, Ontario would be the first Canadian province with similar legislation.
Schaefer said concussion protocols could also help identify previously undetected concussions. Researchers estimate that as many as 90 percent of youth concussions are missed or never diagnosed. “Far too often their symptoms are mistaken for other conditions such as attention deficit disorder or depression,” he said.
The foundation has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to help advance research and awareness associated with misdiagnosed and undetected concussions in youth sports and other activities. Funds will be used in part to provide 150 families—with children 8-18 years old—an objective assessment system of concussions for home use. The Objective Brain Concussion Assessment and Monitoring System (OBCAMS) gives families and non-medical personnel a portable, affordable assessment tool to monitor their children’s brain health across the five most critical areas of the brain. They can then share ongoing, objective reports with their children’s doctor to help make more informed decisions about whether or not to let their children return to the playing field—or playground—following a documented concussion. More information is available at TheHiddenDanger.com.